Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins Awarded to Youth Musicians from Texas and Connecticut

Winners to Help Spread "Harmony for Humanity" During World Music Days in


Sep 08, 2008, 01:00 ET from The Daniel Pearl Foundation

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Daniel Pearl
 Foundation congratulates teen violin and fiddle players Ian Stewart, 16, of
 Austin, Texas and Sam Weiser, 14, of Westport, Connecticut, winners of the
 2008 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins. Recently selected at the Mark O'Connor
 Strings Conference in San Diego, California, these up and coming musicians
 will have full use of the handcrafted instruments for a year, including
 appearances in October to be dedicated as part of the 7th Annual Daniel
 Pearl World Music Days (www.danielpearlmusicdays.org). The World Music Days
 event takes place October 1-31 each year, coinciding with Pearl's October
 10th birthday.
     The Daniel Pearl Memorial violins were crafted by Luther Jonathan
 Cooper of Maine, in honor of the international journalist and talented
 musician, who played violin and fiddle wherever he traveled prior to his
 murder at the hand of terrorists. Past winners from the U.S. and Canada
 have become ongoing musical ambassadors for Pearl's vision of building
 borderless friendships through music. The winners dedicate concerts each
 year to the World Music Days mission of spreading "Harmony For Humanity."
     "Each year at my String Camp, students who demonstrate great potential
 and/or exceptional talent are awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins,"
 said American classical and multi-genre violinist and composer Mark
 O'Connor, a member of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days Honorary Committee.
 "As these students practice and perform with the Pearl violins for a year
 -- until the following Camp, when new students receive the instruments --
 they may come to appreciate the thirst for knowledge and message of healing
 that defined Pearl's life and career."
     Sixteen-year-old violinist, fiddler, and mandolin player Ian Stewart
 began studying classical violin at the age of six in his hometown of
 Austin, Texas. His musical journey took a turn when he attended his first
 Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp at the age of 10 where he discovered traditional
 American and world music. He has excelled in regional and state contests
 and will be performing at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago in
 December. Ian is also one of the founding members of the cross-genre
 Americana band The Fireants, 2008 winners of the New Talent Competition at
 the local Old Settlers Music Festival and a regular fixture on the vibrant
 Austin music scene.
     "Being this year's recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin is an
 incredible opportunity for me to be part of this visionary mission,"
 Stewart said. "The message is formed from the simple idea that music is one
 of the common languages of mankind and can bridge what divides us. I am
 overwhelmingly honored to have this award pass through my hands and I hope
 to bring Daniel's message to the widest possible audience."
     Fourteen-year-old Sam Weiser began Suzuki violin at the early age of
 three. Talented on violin, viola, mandolin and guitar, he has played for
 numerous charitable and civic organizations at diverse venues including
 Carnegie Hall. Currently, the first violinist in the Apollo Quartet, he was
 Concertmaster for the Norwalk Youth Symphony from 2004-2007, and in 2008
 became the youngest first violinist in its Principal Orchestra. A runner-up
 in the 2007 ASTA's National Alternative Strings Competition, Sam has
 performed professionally with both Mark O'Connor and with Yale Strom, one
 of the country's leading Klezmer musicians, and is currently working on a
 jazz string quartet composition.
     "It is an honor for me to receive the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin,"
 Weiser said. "It has brought upon me the determination and commitment to
 send a message of peace through the language of music. It also has inspired
 me to explore new ways of connecting to people and promoting Daniel's
 mission of tolerance."
     Daniel Pearl's murder by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002 touched
 millions who never knew him. By developing international programs focused
 on journalism, music and dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation seeks to
 counter the hatred and intolerance that took his life. www.danielpearl.org.
     Daniel Pearl World Music Days is an awareness-raising network and there
 is no financial obligation to participate. Musicians of every genre --
 professional, amateur, and youth -- simply register their prescheduled or
 specially planned October performances at www.danielpearlmusicdays.org, and
 make a statement from the stage or in the printed program in support of the
 "Harmony for Humanity" theme. Since its inception in 2002, more than 2000
 concerts in 75 countries have been dedicated to these ideals for which
 Daniel Pearl stood.

SOURCE The Daniel Pearl Foundation